France's Total starts new gas production in North Sea fields

Paris (AFP) –


French energy giant Total said on Monday it had started production at its Laggan and Tormore gas fields near the Shetland Islands in the North Sea.

The installation is to produce 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), the company said in a statement.

Total called the site a "key component" in its plans to boost its British production to 260,000 boe/d this year from 107,000 in 2015.

"By opening up this new production hub in the deep offshore waters of the West of Shetland, Total is also boosting the United Kingdom's production capacity and Europe’s energy security," it said.

Total is Laggan-Tormore's operator, owning 60 percent in the installation, with Denmark's Dong Energy and Britain's Scottish and Southern Energy holding 20 percent each.

Faced with reduced investment budgets due to low energy prices, Total cut costs by linking the underwater production directly to the Shetlands coast via pipelines, without using platforms.